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The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) is a beer festival with a difference, celebrating the diversity of craft beer and the creativity of the breweries with some of the best craft breweries from Australia, New Zealand and internationally brewing brand new beers specifically for the event. Several renowned European brewers called GABS 2013 one of the best beer festivals in the world.


The festival was started in 2012 by Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, owners of the multi-award winning Local Taphouse pubs in Melbourne and Sydney, and offers a large variety of exclusive new-release beers, brewery and industry stands, a gourmet food market, educational seminars, games and live entertainment in Melbourne’s World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.

In the last two years, GABS has attracted a combined total of almost 25,000 people from around Australia, New Zealand and even Europe and Asia.


As well as the GABS Official Guide and Matilda Bay GABS glass, all tickets now include the new GABS Craft Beer Passport with $360 worth of discounts at leading beer bars, beer stores and brewery cellar doors.  A pretty good deal we reckon!

    Please note that the length and start/finish times of many sessions have changed from last year.





In 2008, mates and passionate craft beer enthusiasts Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone launched The Local Taphouse in St Kilda East. It was conceived as a European-inspired, neighbourhood tavern specialising in exceptional craft beers, food, events and hospitality.

Twelve months later, they brought a bit of Melbourne to Sydney when The Local Taphouse opened in Darlinghurst. With a dedicated and passionate team of managers and staff, the venues are the most awarded speciality beer venues in Australia. The St Kilda venue is also currently rated by The Age as one of Melbourne’s Top Ten Pubs while the Darlinghurst venue was voted the Best Pub in Sydney at the 2013 Time Out Sydney Awards.

The venues each run more than 100 events per year but it is their SpecTAPular beerfests which consistently draw the largest crowds. Each SpecTAPular has its own theme but it was when they invited 22 Australian brewers to brew a unique beer for the massively successful inaugural GABS in the summer of 2011 that they knew they were onto something special. For some time, the boys had been searching for a unique festival idea for a major festival that would celebrate all that great beer could be – and this was it.


After an unofficial GABS iOS app was developed by a craft beer (and Local Taphouse) fan, and then enthusiastically downloaded last year, we thought we better work with him and his mate to make them even better this year!

We are integrating some super cool features into the Official (iOS and Android) Apps which will become an indispensable tool for beer fans leading up to, and including,  GABS this year.

You will be able to download the Official GABS apps closer to the event.


9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC. There are 5 sessions over 3 days
from Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th of May 2014.


FRIDAY MAY 23RD • 12PM – 4PM (4 hours)


FRIDAY MAY 23RD • 5:30PM – 11.30PM (6 hours)


SATURDAY MAY 24TH • 12PM – 5PM (5 hours)


SATURDAY MAY 24TH • 6:30PM – 11.30PM (5 hours)


SUNDAY MAY 25TH • 12PM – 5PM (5 hours)

Please note that all alcohol will stop being served 15 minutes before the end of each session.


Pictured above: A contender for Silly Hat Sunday.


To assist in getting people into the venue as quickly as possible, entry to GABS is via the Nicholson Street main entrance to the Royal Exhibition Building.

When you arrive at the front of the main queue, there will be separate queues for:



All ticket holders will have their ticket scanned and be handed a souvenir GABS glass, Official Guide and Craft Beer Passport. Those holding a Ticket & Token package ticket, Season Pass or a ticket to the VIP Beer & Food Experience will also receive 10 tokens ($20). Season Pass ticket holders will be fitted with a tamper proof wristband – with barcode – which must be worn for as many days as you intend coming to GABS.   Please be prepared to show valid ID and all people under the age of 18 will be required to wear a wristband for the duration of their stay at GABS 2014.


With so many great beers on offer, sampling a wide variety of beers as possible is really the name of the game.

Tasting Paddles (5 tokens/$10) consisting of 5 x 85ml tasters OR individual tasters (1 token/$2) can be purchased.

At any time you can also have your GABS souvenir glass filled with a larger serve of beer.  Most glass fills of the Festival Beers served at the GABS Container Bars are just 3 tokens/$6 with some higher alcohol beers 4 tokens/$8.

Beers sold at the exhibitor stands in the Dan Murphy’s Market Place can also be bought as samples (1 token/$2) or you can have your GABS glass filled (prices starting from 3 tokens/$6).

Empty wooden Tasting Paddles to help you easily carry up to 5 x samples are free to use at the event and available at each of the Container Bars . We like to do our best for sustainability so please place your paddle in the Paddle Bins as you exit your session.



To ensure maximum efficiency at the bars and stalls, GABS uses a token system for all food and drink purchases. Each token is worth $2 and can be purchased  in packs of $10 (5 tokens) or  individually at the venue. No cash transactions are allowed.

While some tickets include tokens, additional tokens may be purchased from either the GABS Box Office, Tokens Booths (cash or card) or from one of the roaming Token Sellers (cash only).  Please note that any leftover tokens are not refundable.


The Royal Exhibition Building is located just north of Melbourne’s CBD, next to the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens.


If you absolutely have to drive (and you have a designated driver), we recommend parking at the Melbourne Museum undercover car park next door to the Royal Exhibition Building. It is open from 6.00am to midnight daily. Enter via Rathdowne Street or Nicholson Street. For rates and more information, click here.


Plan your trip to GABS using Metlink’s Journey Planner. Transport options include:

Tram 86 or 96 to corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets
Free City Circle Tram to Victoria Parade
City loop train to Parliament Station
Bus routes 250, 251 and 402 to Rathdowne Street
Free City of Melbourne Tourist Shuttle Bus to stop No. 4


With an ever increasing number of people visiting Melbourne for GABS and Good Beer Week, we are thrilled that Accor is the official accommodation partner of GABS 2014. Accor is the leading hotel company in Australia and is offering exclusive preferred rates at their key supporting hotels in Melbourne to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable GABS experience.

Forget looking at other websites for the best rate. Accor have guaranteed the best rate of the day if you click here and select Melbourne from the drop down menu, the date you wish to arrive and how many nights you are staying.

Get on it and these rates are limited!


Acceptable Behaviour

If people think GABS is an Oktoberfest-like swillathon, they will only be disappointed. While we’re all about responsible beer appreciation and education in a fun and festive atmosphere, anti-social behaviour will not be accepted.

No food or beverage may be taken into the festival hall.

First Aid

First aid will be on site and it’s location can be found in the GABS Official Guide map.

Security Check

Please note all bags are subject to inspection at any point during the event. Bottles, cans, glass, food, alcohol, illicit drugs, illegal substances, fireworks, explosives or anything that can be used as a weapon cannot be brought into the festival.

We will endeavour to process people into GABS as quickly as possible and we appreciate your patience.


There is strictly no-smoking anywhere within the Royal Exhibition Building. People may smoke outside the main entrance in the designated area

Disability Access

There is wheelchair access to the Royal Exhibition Building via the main entry.


GABS t-shirts and merchandise from a number of participating breweries will be sold at the Merchandise Stand near the main entrance. Payment is either by tokens, cash, credit card of EFTPOS.


The Box Office and Token Stands are the only places where cash or major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) are accepted . Roaming Token Sellers are cash only. There is also an ATM in the REB which can be found on the map in the GABS Official Guide.

Please note that ALL transactions for food and drink is by official GABS tokens only.



The Volunteer Signup Form can be found here but please read the following information carefully BEFORE filling in the form.

The GABS volunteer family are the heart and soul of our event and it simply couldn’t happen without them. This year, volunteers are needed for the following five shifts: 

Friday May 23rd: 10.45am – 4.30pm
Friday May 23rd: 4.30pm – midnight
Saturday May 24th: 10.45am – 5.30pm
Saturday May 24th: 5.30pm – midnight
Sunday May 25th: 10.45am – 5.30pm

Volunteers must arrive on time for their shift as there will be a short briefing you must attend.

Where will volunteers be required to come for their volunteer shift?

GABS is being held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Nicholson St, Carlton, Melbourne May 23-25, 2014.  The venue is centrally located and there is good public transport.

You do not have to be from Melbourne in order to volunteer for GABS.

What will the volunteers at GABS do?

There will be a range of volunteer roles and each will be integral to GABS’ success.  Among other things, we are looking for enthusiastic people to help with:

1. Front desk and customer service; greeting festival attendees
2. Beer service; pouring beer and serving attendees
3. Bar  and exhibitor stand support; helping keep the beer flowing and all the bars and stands working well.

The Volunteer Coordinator will work to place volunteers in the range of roles available, and will provide detailed information about those roles prior to the event.


Do you need any qualifications or special skills to volunteers at GABS?

If you are reading this, you already hold a key qualification – an interest in volunteering!

We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic volunteers who work well as part of a team and can follow simple directions.  We are particularly keen on volunteers who have a passion for craft beer and at least a basic level of beer knowledge.  However, you don’t need any qualifications or special skills.

If you choose to register for volunteering, we will ask you if you have a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate or any hospitality or customer service experience.  This information will help us allocate volunteers to roles appropriate and make best use of your skills.

If you have some specific skills that you think would be useful to us, feel free to email Stephanie Coutts, our Volunteer Coordinator.

What do you get for volunteering at GABS?

Every GABS volunteer can attend another session at the festival for free along with the GABS Souvenir Glass, Official Guide and the new Craft Beer Passport with $360 worth of savings at leading craft beer bars, bottle stores and brewery cellar doors.

All volunteers will also receive an exclusive GABS volunteer t-shirt to wear during their volunteer shift (and after the festival). They will also now receive $20 worth of tokens for food during their volunteer session or food/ beer during their free session.

Along with the tangible perks, all volunteers will get to meet like-minded people and have a great time during their volunteer shift.

Do you get to drink beer while you are volunteering?

We know there will be the temptation to drink while volunteering BUT we need sober volunteers.  This is why all volunteers will get to attend another session at the festival for free.

It is our expectation that volunteers don’t drink during their shift. This will ensure that they can successfully fulfil their volunteer roles in a safe and responsible manner.  This is consistent with our goal that the festival promotes responsible drinking and the appreciation of craft beer.


Do you get a break while volunteering?

We will aim to ensure that all volunteers get a break during their volunteer session.  These will be managed by supervisors and team leaders on the day and will not be planned in advance as we need to be flexible about the timing.

What do you have to wear while volunteering?

All volunteers will receive an exclusive GABS volunteer t-shirt to wear during their volunteer shift.  Otherwise, jeans or other pants, and flat, closed-toe, comfortable shoes are all that is needed.

How do I find out if I have been chosen as a volunteer?

Volunteers from previous years will be invited to return this year first but we will be in contact with all people who have registered their interest in volunteering approximately six weeks before the event.  If you have any questions before that time, feel free to email our volunteer coordinator.

What happens if I have already bought a ticket to GABS?

We will arrange a refund for the ticket you purchased!

If my friends register, how can we ensure that we are working together?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be allocated volunteer roles with any friends or relatives if you volunteer together.  However, you can arrange to attend the same free session, and enjoy the festival together.


How do I register my interest in volunteering?

If you’d like to be considered for one or two sessions, please fill in the Volunteer Sign up Form and Steph will be in touch.


Accredited members of the media can apply for an access-all-areas media pass to GABS by emailing Kirstie Bedford. Please state your full name and media outlet.

The GABS media pass will entitle you to access to all public areas of the festival hall from 15 minutes before the start of each session until the end of each session.

As the Coopers Craft Beer College programme of free educational seminars is announced, please nominate which you’d like to attend so we can ensure a space.

For interviews or any other information, please contact Kirstie Bedford on 0437 455 001 or via email.


All media releases will be available here for downloading. If you would like to be included in the circulation list, please contact Kirstie Bedford on 0437 455 001 or via email.


March 27, 2014

Some of world’s best brewers head down under for craft beer festival.

March 20, 2014

Innovation key to making the cut in new era of craft beer.

March 13, 2014

Bold brewers concoct quirky culinary creations for craft beer festival.

March 7, 2014

Former rivals team up to showcase SA beer amongst country’s best.


Here is some of the great media coverage GABS 2014 has got so far.

Apr 17, 2014
GABS get amongst the good and the gonzo (Australian Brews News)
Apr 10, 2014
Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (James Squire – What’s On)
Apr 9, 2014
An event beloved by hardcore beer geeks (Illawarra Mercury, NSW)
Apr 7, 2014
Brighton cardiac surgeon brews up black heart for Melbourne’s Good Beer Week (Bayside Leader)
Apr 6, 2014
Beer writers Mike Gribble and Tom Smithies list 100 Great Beers ahead of the Beer World Cup (Sunday Herald Sun and all News Ltd newspapers Australia-wide)
Apr 1, 2014
International brewers set to storm Melbourne for GABS (Beer and Brewer)
Mar 31, 2014
Hip Hops in Melbourne for Good Beer Week (Pieces of Victoria, Tourism Victoria)
Mar 31, 2014
Various interviews with GABS Brewers (Beer is your Friend blog)
Mar 29, 2014
Radio interview – starts at 11.09 (Food In Focus, Eastside FM, NSW)
Mar 27, 2014
Overseas brewers get gift of the GABS (West Australian, WA)
Mar 27, 2014
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular 2014 (Weekend Notes)
Mar 26, 2014
The Sip #12 – Mango Beer (The West Australian)
Mar 25, 2014
Time to get frothy around the mouth (MX Melbourne)
Mar 23, 2014
GABS edition: 5 Minutes with Alex from Cheeky Monkey (girl+beer)
Mar 22, 2014
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) (Hospitality Magazine)
Mar 20, 2014
Tantalise your taste buds at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular! (Daily Melbourne, VIC)
Mar 18, 2014
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) (Hospitality Magazine)
Mar 17, 2014
Wellington’s record year of Aussie arrivals (Hotel Management, AUST)
Mar 17, 2014
Brit Brewers Head Down Under (Beers of the World, UK)
Mar 17, 2014
UK Brewers Head Down Under (Inside Beer, UK)
Mar 15, 2014
Crafty culinary brews bring thousands of travellers to Melbourne this May (Global Travel Media)
Mar 13, 2014
GABS reveals beer list for 2014 event (Beer and Brewer)
Mar 13, 2014
Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular 2014 (Crafty Pint)
Mar 13, 2014
Lip from the Sip – WA brewers keen on GABS (The West Australian)
Mar 12, 2014
Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (That’s Melbourne)
Mar 12, 2014
2014 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (
Mar 12, 2014
GABS to join forces with Good Beer Week (Australian Brews News)
Feb 11, 2014
Good Beer Week 2014 (Time Out Melbourne)
Jan 23, 2014
Yeastie Boys receive rare invite to real ale festival (Scoop Independent News, NZ)


Any of the images in the Gallery can be made be used for media purposes with permission of GABS. To see the Contact Sheet, click here and download the resolution that you require.

If you have any other questions relating to sourcing other high resolution photos of GABS or have a request for use of the GABS logo files in marketing and promotional materials (print and digital), please contact Kirstie Bedford on 0437 455 001 or via email.




For media inquiries, please check out our media section first and if needed email Kirstie Bedford.

For event inquiries please contact Event Manager Julie Walsh.  If you are a brewery or business interested in getting involved with GABS, becoming a GABS Partner or advertising in the GABS Official Guide, contact Festival Co-Directors Steve Jeffares or Guy Greenstone.

For general inquiries, please fill out the following form.

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